Diary of a Riding for the Disabled Pony called “Flashlight”

Posted on May 16th, 2012
Categories: News

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Flashlight. I am a chestnut mare standing 13.2 in my shoes. I am believed, by many admirers, to be rather attractive with a glorious tail and mane complete with highlights. I have included a photograph above so you can decide for yourselves!

I was not always an RDA pony. For 15 years I lived at a small riding school where the lady in charge spoiled us all. When I moved from there I was very pleased to be reunited with my old friend Red Wing who had disappeared a few months before. As I had no idea where he had gone I was delighted to see him again looking well and happy. I soon made friends with all the other horses, the other chestnut mare was the least friendly to me at first, I think it must be the highlights.

I must say I found the first few RDA lessons unlike any riding lessons I had ever given in many years of teaching children to ride. (Please don’t ask my age that would be most impolite!) These riders I am working with now are so different from those I have taught in the past. Sometimes those cheeky things needed to be taught some manners, requiring a quick buck and a rapid return to earth.

All these new children seemed wobbly, but one in particular, I think he is called Warren, had me very concerned. The first time he was put on my back he could not even hold himself up, imagine that! He literally lay down with his head on my rump, so naturally I stopped, it really felt most odd. Do these people really know what they are doing? I turned to look and was reassured by the helpers that this was what they wanted. Still unconvinced I walked on VERY slowly. The next time he seemed a bit stronger and with a lot of help from two people sat up. Again I walked slowly; it’s quite hard to walk forward with two humans leaning on you helping a very wobbly rider.  I was so shocked when they asked me to trot that at first I simply wouldn’t. I have given so many riding lessons I was convinced that this child, who was clearly very special, would fall off and be hurt, and that it was my job to make sure that he didn’t.

Again I was persuaded, against my better judgment, to trust the helpers. I gave them six strides of the gentlest trot I could. Everyone seemed very happy, most of all the little rider, he actually laughed! A nice sound that made an aging pony feel all warm inside and everyone praised the rider and thanked me with kind words and a gentle pat.

It’s beginning to seem that these people at RDA know more than I think they do. They all seem to think I am doing a good job and although I say so myself I am rather special too. I am very happy to be an RDA pony as I truly believe my friends and I are doing the most important work any horse could be asked to do.


(Translated and written by Jane Tyrrell)

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